Preparing for the Long Term
Successful freemium apps offer continuously evolving content or services to provide value to users and to encourage engagement and monetization. Engaged users sometimes move quickly through content, and planning and resources are required to keep the pipeline full.
“There’s no shortcut to quality, and for Jam City the basis of everything is creating a game with powerful characters, great story, great art, a flawless technical experience that they can access on any of their devices,” says Yguado. “If you don’t get the basics down, users are going to churn out very quickly. And if you don’t have a team prepared to generate a steady stream of quality content, it’s going to become static very quickly.”
Says Matt Casertano, former Senior Vice President of Game Operations at Jam City, “We were quick to realize how insatiable core players are, and how much they really want content, so we made a substantial investment in game design in order to satisfy that need for content. We have a very strong, dedicated group of players at the end of content who are waiting for their next challenge, and they know they are going to get their next set of levels every week.”
Originator, a five-person operation, kept pace with the demand for content for its freemium apps as its animation pipeline grew more robust. The Endless Reader app, which launched with 26 words, now has 341 words and covers all of the sight words that educators cite as being important for young readers to learn. “The growth of content in our apps originally was a result of need, really,” says Ishibashi. “We started off slowly and ramped up as we’ve grown as a company and as each of the apps has proven themselves.”